European Nymphing

Montana Fly Fishing – Fly Fishing Video

Montana is not that far from me. To put it simply, it’s a six hour drive with only one state in between. Turns out the state between me and Montana holds some remarkable trout water, and thus I’ve spent most of my time exploring the waters of Idaho. I don’t regret my many Idaho adventures, and I still plan to spend most of my “out of state” days fishing there, but after a three day trip to Montana this Spring I’m wondering why it’s taken me so long to fish in the Big Sky Country.

Our trip (Kohler and I once again) evolved from an opportunity to do a Euro Nymphing presentation for a fantastic Pat Barnes Trout Unlimited group in Helena. My good friend Brad Hansen who has lived in that area now for a couple years set the whole thing up. He was also awesome enough to take time off from work to show us around his local fly fishing play ground, (which just happens to includes the Missouri and Madison Rivers, along with MANY other awesome stretches of water). His kind wife Janelle and their old pup Bruce were also willing to let us crowd their house for a few days. Truly the royal treatment, and we still owe them many thanks!
Maddison River Rainbow

Brad spoiled us and took us down the Missouri in his drift boat. We threw streamers most of our first day up there, and we lucked into some amazing fish. The next two days were spent Euro Nymhing. As it often does, Egan’s Tungsten Surveyor along with the Rowley Stone, caught a good majority of our fish on both the Missouri and the Madison. We caught some of the most beautiful Rainbow’s I’ve ever seen, and a handful of beefy browns. The surprise of the trip came the evening of the first day when Brad landed a beautiful thick cutthroat in the Missouri. That was his first Missouri River cutthroat and it looks to be a very rare catch (see video above for a quick clip of the fish).

Tungsten Surveyor

Rowley Stone - Wet

Part of the reason both Kohler and I fell in love with Montana was the quality of the fish. Pound for pound, even the smaller fish in the 15″ range fought as hard as any trout I’ve ever hooked, and the pigs we got into put a major bendo in the rod as well.
Missouri River Rainbow

On our last morning there Brad and his friend Will took us to a place where the “locals” fish. All I’m going to say is it didn’t disappoint 😉

Montana Fly Fishing - Rainbow Trout

I hope it’s not long until I can return to Montana for another three days of fly fishing. Only next time, I’ll have a better idea what to expect and three days will not be enough. I can see why Paul Maclean once said, “Oh, I’ll never leave Montana, brother.” (A River Runs Through It), and now I partially understand why.

Czech Nymph Fly Pattern – #1 Caddis Larva Imitation – Fly Tying Video

In almost every river or stream that I have ever sampled for aquatic inverts I have found multiple species of caddis larva. However much we all love to fish the beautifully tied mayfly and stonefly nymphs, caddis larva make up a huge portion of a trout’s diet. There are many imitations out there, but the Czech Nymph is my go-to caddis larva. Not to mention that it can double for a cranefly larva, or any other grub style invertebrate that finds itself floating down a trout stream.

You can tie this pattern in a multitude of color variations, either as natural, or as flashy as you desire. The tan-pink-brown variation is usually the first Czech Nymph I tie on. I prefer to fish if in sizes 8-14 with sizes 8 and 10 being the most common. Tungsten and lead are a necessity if you are euro nymphing/czech nymphing. It’s not a bad idea to have a few tied with brass beads, or no bead at all for those shallow small streams that have willing to eat big flies. Also, you can add Net Back Foil to this fly if you really want the segments to “pop”.

Czech Nymph - Caddis Larva Imitation

Net Back Foil - Czech Nymph

The Provo River has some fantastic fish that love to gorge themselves on caddis larva. One unforgettable summer day on the middle Provo, Kohler and I found ourselves scoring into some fine fish while fishing both woven nymphs, and Czech Nymphs. If you watch closely in this video you will see this color variation hanging out of the mouth of a very fine brown trout.

Recipe:

Hook: Dai-Riki 135 Sizes 8-14
Bead: Tungsten or Bronze Size 1/8″-7/64″ (Depending on hook size)
Underbody: 0.020 Lead Wire
Thread: 6/0 Uni Color – Camel
Backing Material: Clear Scud Back
Rib: 3X Monofilament
Body: Tan Hare’s Ear
Hot Spot: Pink Shrimp Sow-Scud
Collar: Natural Brown Squirrel

Mayday Mayfly- Rainbow Warrior Variation – Fly Tying Video

Some days the impressionistic drab fly patterns that truly seem to imitate aquatic macroinvertebrates are the ones the get the job done. Fish after fish we convince ourselves that our knowledge of stream entomology has once again deciphered the mysteries held deep within each river and stream we fish. How then do we endorse our knowledge when a flashy attractor pattern that closer resembles a candy wrapper than a macroinvertebrate catches all the fish? Seems to me that sometimes we as anglers need to admit that despite all the knowledge we may have, the sheer hunger, aggression, or curiosity of trout outweighs any type of matching game we may attempt to play. Such occasions I often find myself cracking the code by simply throwing the flashiest attractor nymph in my box – the Mayday Mayfly.

Warrior Extreme - Black

Warrior Extreme - Rainbow

Warrior Extreme - Brown

The Rainbow Warrior was created by Lance Egan a few year ago, and has been catching fish like crazy ever since. It is a fly pattern that is highly attractive, and less imitative. Lance Egan hit the jack pot with this pattern, and by making a few alterations the Warrior Extreme came about. The wire rib, the dubbing collar instead of a thorax with wing case, and the jig hook it is tied on are the distinct differences between the two. Both the Rainbow Warrior, and the Mayday Mayfly catch fish, and not for a moment would I try to tell you that the Mayday Mayfly is a superior pattern. In my box it is merely an addition that sits side by side the great Rainbow Warrior.

Jig Fly Pattern - Warrior Extreme

I typically fish this fly as a mayfly imitation. The shape and size are similar to mayflies even though it is more of an attractor than and imitator. There are three color variations that I tie this fly pattern in. The brown and copper, black and wine, and the rainbow. All three have proven to be effective, and I always try to have a healthy selection of each in my box. Once notable item about this fly, it is a very simple pattern that if you are leaning how to tie flies it will not overwhelm you one bit. There are very few materials used with simply fly tying steps. The jig hook is also optional.

Recipe:
 
Brown and Copper
Size: 14-16
Hook: Umpqua 4000BL
Bead: Slotted Gold Tungsten
Lead Underbody
Tail: Coq de Leon
Abdomen: Brown Holographic Tensile
Rib: Ultra Wire – Hot Copper (Size Br)
Thorax: Brown Semi-Seal Dubbing
 
Black and Wine
Size: 14-16
Hook: Umpqua 4000BL
Bead: Slotted Gold Tungsten
Lead Underbody
Tail: Coq de Leon
Abdomen: Black Holographic Tensile
Rib: Ultra Wire – Wine (Size Br)
Thorax: Black Semi-Seal Dubbing
 
Rainbow
Size: 14-16
Hook: Umpqua 4000BL
Bead: Slotted Silver Tungsten
Lead Underbody
Tail: Coq de Leon
Abdomen: Pearl Tensile
Rib: Ultra Wire – Silver (Size Br)
Thorax: Dark Rainbow Dubbing

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